Pensacola Beach lifeguards seeing more “flash rips” than normal

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — Even on a beautiful day when green flags are flying at beaches, there is the danger of rip currents and lifeguards are reporting more “flash rip currents” than normal this summer.

Flash rip currents are even more difficult to predict and can happen with a quick wind shift or tidal change. They can pop up for just a few seconds and in that amount of time, swimmers can be ripped out into the Gulf.

While yellow flags were flying Tuesday at Pensacola Beach, a man and woman were caught in a flash rip current. The woman was taken to the hospital for possible secondary drowning because it’s believed she had some water in her lungs.

“This year, for whatever reason, we have had a lot more flash rip currents than we normally have and those are a lot more difficult to predict,” Pensacola Beach Water Safety Captain Jake Wilson said. “They show up unexpectedly so we advise you as always to swim in front of a lifeguard in the swimming area.”

So far this summer, at Pensacola Beach, there have been no drownings.

If you are caught in any rip current, lifeguards first say to relax and let the current take you then swim parallel to shore to get out of the current and swim back to the sand.

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